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tv   Your Bottom Line  CNN  February 12, 2011 9:30am-10:00am EST

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welcome back. we've been talking about these events in the middle east as a built of a dominoes because tunisia was last month, egypt this month and now word that the palestinian authority has been affected. both the president of the palestinian authority and its parliament have remained in office long past the end of their terms. they haven't given up power but now there's word they will be holding an overdue election. >> for more on that, we want to get right to kevin flower who is live in jerusalem for us. can you bring us up to date on this? >> reporter: absolutely, randi. some really start ling news here today. what we've heard from the secretary-general of the plo in a press conference just a short time ago, what he talked about was the palestinian authority would hold legislative and
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presidential elections no later than september. and, jonathan, as you mentioned, thereof not been parliamentary or presidential elections here for a number of years. president mahmoud abbas has been in power since 2005. legislative elections haven't taken place around the same period of time. so we've had this political vacuum. they've been postponed multiple times, much to the chagrin of the palestinian public, who is looking at the changes in the middle east and saying, when are these changes going to happen here. so, clearly, this is a nod to some of the winds of change that are sweeping the region. the palestinian authority making a big change here. elections coming up. what we don't know is whether mahmoud abbas will run in these upcoming presidential elections. he said in the past that he would not. that's going to be a question being posed to him in the days ahead. >> kevin flower, our jerusalem bureau chief with breaking news from there. thank you very much.
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we might have some more news to tell you about. we want to get to tahrir square in cairo, egypt, where joe doran, cnn photographer, is standing by for us. what is the scene there? i understand the military certainly has a presence there in the square. we've seen -- we saw them actually enter the square in very large amounts of troops actually entering the square earlier. what's happening right now? >> reporter: well, at the moment, there is quite a commotion. they are trying to bring in a very large piece of marble stone which i believe people are saying that it will be a monument to the people who died here on the square. they're trying to put it into place, but people are trying to make their way to the stone. it's a very large piece of marble and it's got flowers on top. the crane is trying to put it in place but people are quite emotional, chanting, as you can
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hear them. >> what are they chanting? and is everybody -- like the military trying to stop them from doing this? >> reporter: well, they're chanting what they've been chanting for the last two weeks. and a lot of allah akbar, god is great. they started at one point singing the national anthem. let me just see if you can hear. one second. [ crowd chanting ] >> reporter: as i said, there's -- it's mostly civilians. there's no military around this monument. >> so nobody is trying to stop them from putting this up? >> reporter: nobody is trying to stop them. i think people are just emotional trying to see what's going on, trying to push their way in. the volunteers trying to push them back. >> and when you say emotional, if you can just take that a step further. are people crying? what are they feeling as they see this statue come in for the
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victims offer the martyrs? >> reporter: people are trying to show their -- to the martyrs the last couple of weeks. i don't speak arabic. people are trying to tell me things and i don't understand. it's just an emotional moment. people are starting to see and touch the stone. >> joe durran, hang with us. we want to bring in fionnuala sweeney who might have a different view of all of this happening. she's in cairo as well near the square. fionnuala, do you see this happening? do you see this attempt to put up this large statue? >> reporter: yeah, i do see the crane. essentially, we can see from our vantage point what you're seeing. i perhaps have a wider view than your shot now. you can see a lot of movement
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with the egyptian flag. further down that avenue away from tahrir square, you can see there's a kinds of a human chain of people standing. there's an attempt to get some order. there's now another what looks like a small crane. forgive my lack of industrial knowledge about this. coming into the road leading up to the streets. and it seems to be a little bit of activity there. randi, essentially, this is still a country that can't quite believe the very after what happened the night before. you can see all around you businesses are getting back to business as usual. slowly, slowly but surely. it's very, very early day. there are still people crowding into the square here. it's the saturday. it's the weekend. but i've been asking people who know this city far better than i do. they are saying you can see from the boats on the river, you can see from the general activity that things are more normal now in cairo than they have been over the last couple of weeks.
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and i think this -- what joe is talking about is evidence of the emotion of the situation and the determination of the demonstrators to mark in some way, some significant way the sacrifice that was made by some of their fellow demonstrators over the last couple of weeks. and the situation will be fluid for a while. there's bound to be high emotion. one wonders, thinking ahead, how long the demonstrations will last in tahrir square. the tent cities, we understand, are coming down slowly. but there are still people there. and i think one thing to watch out for over the coming days will be, will the demonstrators remain united, decide to stay in the square, to ask the military -- to demand from the military that they have the state of emergency lifted, that political prisoners be released, that freedom of the press be enshrined in the constitution. or will some of them drift away and go back to work as there is
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some evidence that that may be happening already. but these things are a little too early to call right now. it's less than 24 hours since hosni mubarak stepped down from power. and this is largely a city celebrating. >> and let's just, if we can, just to help our viewers understand what they're looking at. it is about 4:38 in cairo, egypt. and on the left side of your screen, we've been watching a very large crane that is apparently trying to bring a marble stone statue into tahrir square. the protesters are working to make this happen. apparently the military, we're hearing from our joe duran, cnn photographer on the ground, the military is not there certainly not trying to prevent this from happening. it's a marble stone with flowers on top. apparently a monument to the victims or the martyrs as they're being called. they are chanting "god is great." they are looking to put an
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egyptian flag as well. in a way, it seems as though they are really trying to mark their territory, fionnuala, and really saying to former president mubarak and others, "we were heard, our voices were heard, and you better not forget." >> reporter: i think essentially that would be a very, very strong message for the military. but the military in a communique released just over an hour ago illuminated is a little more its thinking process in terms of the direction this country is taking and saying as far as the military council is concerned, that this is a new day for egypt. they expect the government that was put in place by hosni mubarak just over the last week or so to continue to function, to work towards this transition to democracy. i pen really when you think about this, it is such is a huge challenge to transfer a country
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that essentially has been under the rule of thumb of one man to a fully-pledged democracy. and it isn't just any country. it is a country that is the beating heart of the arab world, although i'm sure there are a few other countries in the arab world who would disagree with that. 18 million people. cairo and saudi often battled it out for influence in the region. but down through the years at least the last century, what happened in cairo resonated throughout the arab world. and of course one of the external factors we're looking for now and programs kevin flowers eluding to that report that there will be palestinian authority elections, that may be one indication. but it's early days yet. but to go back to your initial point, randi, the demonstrators are here. the question is, are they here to stay? >> our fionnuala sweeney in cairo, egypt, along with joe
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duran. if you had the television on 24 hours ago and turned it off and on again this morning, tahrir square still bursting with excitement, crammed with people, still a hive of activity. yet everything about that place and that country have changed. >> it's really -- i think a lot of people thought maybe the protesters might go home. >> that's what i was thinking. >> they got what they wanted -- >> it's been 18 days. they need to work and shower and feed themselves. >> this marble statue they're trying to put up may very well be their final emphasis on what happened here yesterday with mubarak resigning. >> they keep our eyes glued to the square yet again for a whole new unexpected region. not just our eyes. people are watching around the world. more about that in a moment. [ male announcer ] montgomery and abigail haggins
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welcome back. we've been talking an awful lot about egypt but had our eyes on other countries in the region. now we have the first video of something we've been watching. algerian anti-riot police gathering at the scene blocking entrances to the capitol algiers. protesters are trying to push
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for reform in the north african nation. demonstrators across the regional protested against unemployment, corruption and high food costs. we saw the impact in tunisia. they toppled their government. we saw the impact in egypt. they toppled their president. now in algeria, a country that has had decades of issues trying to maintain authority most particularly against an islamist uprising that took tens of thousands of people in a brutal civil war. they finally prevailed against the islamists and finally, i guess it's fair to say, reasserted their authority. but now in the wave of change that's stwepg -- sweeping across the arab world alt yeara feeling the tremors. >> they've had a curfew system since 1992. they're certainty trying to keep things under control there. but from the looks of it, they might have a little trouble. egyptians living in britain are celebrating as well today.
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cnn's reporter is in london for us. describe the scene if you can for us. >> reporter: well, randi, the official program has actually come to an end but people are still here. they're still chanting. they're still dancing. they're echoing a lot of the slogans we've been hearing in tahrir square the last 18 day and don't seem to want to go home. they really want an outlet for their joy. but it hasn't just been about egypt today. you spoke rightly about the demonstrations in algiers and we've been hearing a lot of concern among the demonstrators in trafalgar square and hope algeria is the next country they celebrate in. >> really, really good demonstration for the egyptian people and we are really happy for that. for change in arabic countries in north africa and middle east and for algeria, i think that's hard to say because these
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people, my generation and all generations are the same. so we want freedom. we want all democracy in our country. we live in our other country. but i want freedom for my country. and today we got big demonstration algeria, but i think that's good because is he send more than 500,000 policemen to stop this demonstration. that is really bad for our country and for our brothers and sisters in my country. >> reporter: many people here have told me that they hope this will be the berlin war moment for the middle east in north africa, that there will be a domino effect of autocratic regimes across the region. >> thank you very much for that. for those of you who have been watching, you know some of the images from egypt have been powerful. when we come back, a look at some of the more poignant moments of the revolution in egypt.
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sometimes you look at the
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scene in tahrir square and the words escape you. the clouds leading up to the announcement that mubarak was leaving were staggering. the chanting of freedom, freedom still echo across egypt today. here's how events played out. [ chanting ] >> translator: i, president muhammad hosni mubarak mubarak, decided to step down as president of egypt and has assigned the higher council of the armed forces to run the affairs of the country. [ chanting ] >> just moments ago the news came out. roz hosni mubarak was stepping down.
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>> i'm proud the be egyptian. i just want to say from the bottom of my heart, congratulations to all egyptians. and i want to say welcome back, egypt. >> a sense of liberation for me, for every egyptian. a sense of emancipation of the whole egyptian people. and for the first time egypt has a chance to be democratic, to be free. egyptians have a chance at dignity, at freedom. it's amazing. just like 180 degrees. like something we've never experienced if our lifetime. >> one egyptian put it simply, most people have discovered in the last few days that they are worth something, and this cannot be taken away from them any more.
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>> an absolute feeling of euphoria down here. relief, joyousness. >> freedom. [ horns honking ] >> the crowd here is so excited. i can actually hardly hear what you're saying, so i'm just going to give them a chance to talk. >> i am very happy now, and always the people of egypt are very happy because mubarak is going. >> i think we will be a country that -- [ chanting ] >> i think that we have changed the history of not only that of egypt but all over the world. we will rebuilt egypt. i repeat, we will rebuild egypt. >> i think we make history now. and i think we deserve this and we need this. >> i think it's the best day ever.
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>> today's an overwhelming day for egypt. everyone's happy. everyone's finally free. we have a chance to change freedom. [ chanting ] >> now that social media is being credited with helping spark the revolution in egypt, what's being said across the twitter-verse today? what do you see yourself doing after you do retire? client comes in and they have a box. and inside that box is their financial life. people wake up and realize. "i better start doing something." we open up that box. we organize it. and we make decisions. we really are here to help you. they look back and think "wow. i never thought i could do this." but we've actually done it. [ male announcer ] visit ameriprise.com and put a confident retirement more within reach. but these days you need more than the book. you need website development, 1-on-1 marketing advice,
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social media may have been what helped bring protesters if egypt together, but that doesn't mean they've signed off now that mubarak is gone. cnn's jessica ellis joins me now. the activist hailed as a hero is continuing to tweet. what are you finding that he's saying now? >> he's still very active online. his first tweet this morning was, good morning, egypt. i truly missed you in the past
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30 years. now, on his facebook page, he has over 738,000 followers and we translated one of the comments this morning. he said god bless the marters of the revolution. only today their right has turned to them. this picture is of the military spokesman who spoke out yesterday and paused and stood at attention and just saluted the people, the victims, the people that died in the protests. so this morning, ghonim and his friend ds the same thing. they took a picture of themselves and they posted on facebook that they are saluting the victims that died in the protests. and we've just seen on facebook, you know, looking at all of the comments and the threads people have become so personal with this revolution, when they'r
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